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Wildfires rage across California

Nearly 100,000 square kilometres of ground burned, with multiple blazes just 10% contained

Image Credit: Reuters

Smoke is illuminated by the Whittier wildfire near Santa Ynez, California, U.S. July 8, 2017.

Los Angeles: Wildfires raged Sunday across much of California forcing hundreds to evacuate homes as the most populous US state sweltered in record heat.

About 5,000 fire crew members were battling 14 large wildfires around the state, according to Cal Fire. Among the largest was the Alamo fire in San Luis Obispo county, about midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Fire there has burned nearly 100 square kilometres and was just 10 per cent contained, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Wall Fire in Butte county in the north-central part of the state saw nearly 18 square kilometres consumed by flames.

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The fire there is just 17 per cent contained and evacuations are in effect, Cal Fire said.

That blaze destroyed 10 structures and threatened hundreds more, according to Cal Fire. Four injuries have been reported.

The Whittier fire in Santa Barbara county in southern California was affecting more than 30 square kilometres and was just five per cent controlled.

Most of southern California including metropolitan Los Angeles has been in the grips of a blistering heat wave, with temperatures exceeding 37 degrees Celsius.

California Governor Jerry Brown in April declared the official end of the state’s drought that lasted more than five years.

But he kept in place water reporting requirements, as well as bans on practices like watering during or following rainfall and hosing off sidewalks.